Cow, cheeseburgers: the truth about global warming

It is clear that global warming is no hoax. Temperatures are rising across the globe and many environmentalists have taken action to slow down the process. 

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By Megan Evans / Staff Writer

By Megan Evans / Staff Writer

 It is clear that global warming is no hoax. Temperatures are rising across the globe and many environmentalists have taken action to slow down the process. 

But how important is global warming to college students today?
 
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press recently released a report stating “There has been a sharp decline over the past year in percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising.” 
 
What is even more shocking is that fewer people today see global warming as a very serious problem.
 
For people to insinuate that the climate is not changing due to our lovely ability to burn coal and drive cars is ridiculous.

But the question is not about global warming being real or not, but whether or not it is of utmost importance to our generation.
 
As college students, we are well educated on the subject of climate change. But  a few things need to be cleared up.
 
Purchasing energy efficient light bulbs will not stop global warming.
 
The biggest emissions contributor is not a car but burning coal. 
 
Lastly, when it comes to global warming, there is a connection between energy, climate and the economy.
 
It has been projected that the surface temperature of the earth will keep increasing as the years go on. 
 
This is debatable among many scientists and environmentalists because the earth has been known to have temperature changes throughout history.
 
It’s hard to answer the question if people care about global warming because many people have a hard time briefly discussing or describing what global warming or “climate change” is. 
 
Even with hundreds of poll results reported throughout the media, it is still too close to say if college students or even young graduates care about global warming.
 
This maybe because they are misinformed about what global warming is. 
 
Some people may think that it is a myth and others may not understand the impact global warming has on the environment. 
 
Maybe one reason global warming is not of high importance to college students is because people may not know how great of an impact it may have on humanity.
 
When scientists state the earth is warming by a quarter or half degree each year people may think it’s no big deal. 
 
But when large lakes and glaciers begin to disappear, and each storm becomes stronger than the last, it is apparent that global warming is effecting the environment. 
 
According to an article on Greenbiz.com by Joel Makower called “Do People Really Care About the Climate,” some open polls show that climate is of very low importance to the public, while others indicate that climate ranks very high among public concern. 
 
Whatever the case poll results do not illustrate enough consistency to show a reoccurring theme.
 
For the many different terms used for “climate change” or “climate crisis,” “global warming” seems to be the term most recognizable by the public. 
 
When it comes to finding a solution for global warming there is a problem. 
 
Many people may be willing to make a change but are not sure how to.
 
Throughout recent years Toyota has been promoting its hybrid cars which are much friendlier to the environment than many other cars in today’s marketplace. 
 
But for a broke college student living in 2009, purchasing a $22,000 car is out of the question.

 Buying a hybrid car isn’t likely going to happen, but there are many other solutions that young college students can take to help stop or slow down global warming.

Several people have come up with energy friendly ways to help the environment, and being a recent purchaser of energy efficient light bulbs, I like to think of myself as one of those people.
 
But again, changing out light bulbs is not going to stop global warming. 
 
So what other solutions are there that won’t take a chunk out of a weekly pay check?
 
Some people may know that a great majority of human produced energy comes from burning coal, but another large contributor of emissions comes from cows.
 
Yes you read that right.
 
According to recent research, cow burps and cow gas are making a large contribution to global warming. 
 
Cow burps, unlike released human carbon dioxide, releases something else into the environment. 
 
When a cow burps and releases gas it produces methane. This greenhouse gas has a much longer lifetime in the atmosphere when compared to carbon dioxide, therefore it has a higher global warming potential. 
 
Some environmentalists have suggested that as a society, we should stop breeding cows. 
 
This would decrease the amount of cow burps, or methane, which is released into the atmosphere, and as a result will slow down global warming.
 
Besides the fact that America is a meat loving country, it would be humanly impossible to stop breeding cows. 
 
I don’t know about the rest of America, but an In-n-Out burger sounds absolutely delightful from time to time.
 
To suggest this to a country that has made a huge profit off of cheeseburgers and hamburgers is plain stupid. 
 
And as children who grew up on those cheeseburgers and hamburgers, I doubt that any of them would be willing to give up their right to enjoy a juicy burger.
 
But none of these solutions answer the question, do people realy  care about global warming?
 
One thing is certain, it’s just a matter of time until we find out.

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